OK, I missed a couple days here, planned on one more “article” on plot generators but never got it done. So I’ll give a quick thought on it before today’s real topic. Basically you’re trying to cram a long process into a short time, so you really don’t have the time to wait on inspiration to bring you the perfect twist in your story. I know there are others out there but I’m going to point you to the bottom of the Wordtrip.com front page where we have a sort of “plot generator” with random character and story attributes you could pull from to spice up your story. We also have some “Random Plot Points” that may give you an item, time period, song, etc to insert into a scene and maybe twist it a different way. IF you’ve done your homework and built up some scene cards and have your novel idea mostly in hand, you may not need this, BUT it may help you transition from one chapter to the next if you get stuck 80% through the week/month.
Moving on, to the topic at hand. Today (be it Friday or Saturday when you read this) should be your shopping day. You’re going to undertake a full week of heavy duty writing, which means you need to prepare. If you’re one of those people who write by hand, you need pencils and pens and ink and paper and such. If you’re a purely digital writer you won’t need much extra actual writing hardware, but you’re not off the hook. This week should be busy, this week should be focused, and it should be fun. How do you get focused when you’re busy? Caffeine of course! Go buy the BEST coffee you can, your favorite kind that costs twice as much as the stuff you normally drink. If you don’t drink coffee (blasphemous!) then go pick up some Coke, Pepsi, or Tea. What else do you need? Chocolate of course, Ice Cream maybe. What else? You’ll need the phone number to Pa-Pa Johns or Domino Pizza; probably the one to your nearest Chinese delivery place. Don’t forget frozen dinners, cans of soup, Spaghettios, and snack food that won’t put you to sleep (my personal favorite would be chocolate covered espresso beans… sugar AND caffeine).
While you’re out stocking up on snack foods and caffeine for you, don’t forget your family (assuming you have one living with you). Make sure you have food that’s easy for them to prepare so you don’t have to take precious writing time next week preparing complex meals for them. Get the staple foods too, milk, eggs, bread, cereal, things you may run out of in the middle of the week and waste an hour or two shopping for when you could be writing.
The goal for the last couple of days before Novel Writing Week (or NaNoWriMo for that matter) is to get your proverbial ducks in a row and be prepared for a week of binge writing.
The last thing I want to mention here is two podcasts that I’ve found very helpful lately in both information and inspiration. Podcasting has grown exponentially with iTunes adding it as a feature recently, and I’ve been caught up in the swarm. For those of you who don’t know, podcasting is essentially a radio show type recording that you can “subscribe” to or just download as they come out in mp3 format and listen to either on your computer OR on your iPod/mp3 player of choice.
The first is Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing”. Mur is a wanna be writer just like you and I who has some experience outside of fiction and is trying to make a go of writing fiction as well. She does a great little weekly “this is what I’m doing, this is what I’m struggling with, maybe this will help both of us” podcast that is quite good, go to her site and subscribe to the podcast (and as she’s on episode #9 (and they’re about 10-20 minutes each) you could take the time to listen to all 9 episodes over the next day or so while you prepare to do your writing).
The second is one recommended by Mur and a couple of other podcasters I’ve listened to lately and it’s Media Artist Secrets with Frank McMahon. Frank isn’t focused exclusively on writing, but on the creative process as a whole AND on marketing yourself as an artists and the business aspect of that.
There you have it, go buy coffee and chocolate, check out the random plot generators for a kick in the butt, and listen to I Should Be Writing and Media Artist Secrets. And (to steal Mur’s line), I should be writing, and so should you.
visit : http://www.wordtrip.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5653 to discuss this topic with other Wordtrippers.